Iowa lawmakers declined to advance a bill Thursday that would remove gender identity from the state’s civil rights law.
All three members of a subcommittee voted to not advance the bill Wednesday. The bill was referred to the Iowa House Judiciary Committee last week.
The bill would have removed gender identity as a protected class under the Iowa Civil Rights Act. However, it would have also added “a diagnosis for gender dysphoria or any condition related to a gender identity disorder to the definition of ‘disability’” to the law.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a pro-LGBTQ advocacy group, celebrated the bill’s failure to advance in a Thursday post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
“WIN: An Iowa House subcommittee announced they will NOT advance a bill that would have removed gender identity from Iowa’s Civil Rights Act!” the HRC said in its post. “This ensures that LGBTQ+ Iowans will remain protected citizens! The pro-equality movement is strong.”
The failure of the advancement also comes at a time of intense political debate and legal scrutiny focused on LGBTQ rights. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reported last month that state legislatures have introduced more than 275 bills aimed at LGBTQ rights for consideration during 2024 sessions. The legislation centers on issues including gender-affirming care and restrictions on LGBTQ speech.
“Transgender people across the country are enduring a historic and dangerous effort to control our bodies and our lives, fueled by extremist politics with the goal of erasing us from public life,” ACLU attorney Harper Seldin said.
“Taken together, these proposals are a blatant effort to deny transgender people the freedom to be ourselves at school, at work, and the support of the medical care many of us need to live,” he said. “We at the ACLU and our nationwide affiliate network stand ready to defend our freedoms and our families from this baseless assault.”
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